Advocates have been urging Biden to nominate LGBTQ leaders for key positions within the administration over the past two-months. Biden appointed Pete Buttigieg as the Transportation Department’s leader, becoming the first openly LGBTQ person to be nominated for a permanent Cabinet post. Levine, the highest-ranking transgender appointed official in the United States was frequently at the top of advocates’ lists of recommended names for top positions.
Raffi Freedman–Gurspan, the first openly transgender nominee in the Obama White House, said that she was “just so highly qualified,” Freedman-Gurspan was in Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning, when Levine’s news broke.
She said, “We all screamed.” It is well-deserved, and it sends a message about trans people’s value. We are invited to the table. That’s unambiguous.”
Monitoring the political appointees Biden has nominated to fill the top positions in his administration
Harvard University graduate and Tulane Medical School graduate, Levine was chief resident at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. She also taught. She was a leading doctor at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 2014 and served as the chair of Equality Pennsylvania, an statewide group for gay rights. Wolf then asked her to be part of his transition team for health issues.
Wolf named her Pennsylvania’s physician general the following year. The state Senate was impressed by her experience in mental and behavioral health and voted unanimously for her approval. It did not pay much attention to her gender identity during confirmation.